Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Pine Bluff Workers Fired for Security Violations
The contractor at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas stopped work this month to investigate several workers’ improper use of security badges to access off-limit sections of the chemical weapons destruction facility, the Pine Bluff Commercial reported yesterday (see GSN, July 25).
The work stoppage occurred during a two-week break in chemical weapons disposal for routine maintenance and training, according to the Commercial.
David Reber, project manager for facility contractor Washington Group International, told the arsenal’s Citizens Advisory Commission on Tuesday that five employees exchanged badges in May to enter areas to which they did not have access. The exchanges were made in order “to accomplish some work at the facility,” Reber said.
“However, it is a clear violation of the process,” he said.
“This is serious enough that we don’t tolerate that behavior … so not all of the employees will be returning with us,” Reber said.
“For the majority of people out there who are left this is a wake-up call,” said munitions handler Roger Rheaume. “We follow our rules.”
Meanwhile, Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility project manager Randy Long said chemical weapons disposal resumed Tuesday with destruction of a sarin-filled rocket, the Commercial reported.
Long said “final preventative maintenance activities” were being performed. “Since we had an outage of this duration, we actually will go through a slow and deliberate restart again.”
To date, 13,330 rockets containing 120,000 pounds of sarin nerve agent have been destroyed, according to the Commercial (Amy Riggin/Pine Bluff Commercial, July 27).
Nov. 30, 2012
An updated brochure tells the history of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.